The following e-mail is from T.C.:
This is a research question. Where does the concept and notion of the "sinner’s prayer" come from? Is it Biblical?
We have received many questions from visitors to GodSaidManSaid about the "sinner’s prayer" in the "Further With Jesus" subject on this website. Many of them question the Biblical legitimacy of leading someone to Christ using a particular prayer and they ask for examples of similar directives in the Word of God.
In Luke 11:1, one of Christ’s disciples said, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples." Jesus went on to teach the "Our Father" prayer. John the Baptist taught his disciples to pray. One of our Lord’s disciples asked Him to teach them to pray and He complied. Likewise, the souls coming to Christ on this website are taught to approach God in prayer.
Jesus instructs His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9-13:
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Note that Jesus is not instructing us to recite a particular prayer, but says, "after this manner therefore pray ye:" "Manner" means form; method; a way of performing; a way of doing it. Just before Christ teaches the disciples to pray, He says in Matthew 6:7:
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Reciting the Lord’s Prayer in a repetitive fashion, as some do, was obviously not Christ’s intent when He gave us the example to follow.
T.C., teaching sinners to approach God in prayer is, of course, Biblical.
The following question is from Doug:
Are there any actual scriptures that state Jesus was a carpenter?
Doug, the Word of God reports the following in Mark 6:2-3:
2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Yes, Jesus, just as His earthly father’s profession, was a carpenter. Another thing noteworthy in this passage is that after the birth of Christ, Mary had at least six other children, contrary to some doctrines that claim Jesus was Mary’s only child.
This next e-mail is from Steve, and we apologize for having to print his rancor in order to answer him:
Your advertisements are ridiculous. God does not advertise. I am a Southern Baptist. I know a lot of the time we Southern Baptists catch heat, but you guys are so...so...there’s not even a word for it. You obviously make money at what you do. And that is unacceptable. Enjoy hell. If anyone really reads these e-mails, call me [at the phone number listed], and I will show you how insane you really are.
Steve, you assert that God doesn’t advertise, but advertising is the publishing of information via any media with the purpose of generating a response from the person receiving that information. Boaz advertises in Ruth 4:3-4. God advertises throughout the scriptures. One example in His advertisement of the city of God, could be compared to a brochure, Hebrews 12:22-24:
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
God advertises the new heaven and the new earth extensively in the scriptures. Read Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, for this beautiful account.
Prior to media as we know it today, and prior to the printing press, simplistic means of advertising were used. In cities and villages, a roving messenger known as a town crier was employed to communicate general information. God employed the same technique in preparing the way for His only begotten son. Matthew 11:10:
For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
I’m reminded of the story told to me by a gentleman concerning his youth during World War II in Italy. He told of an old man who would walk throughout the city with a donkey, a young boy, and a bell. They would stop at each cluster of homes. The young lad would ring the bell. As the ladies would come out onto the balconies, the old man would cry out and advertise the wares of the community’s merchants.
Advertising of special mobile events, for example, requires frontmen who moved from community to community to advertise the particulars of a coming event with words and posters. The circus industry, for example, implemented this form of advertising extensively and still does to some extent today. I’m sure this will be a shock to you, Steve, but Jesus Christ used the same form of communication. Luke 10:1:
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
Yes, God does advertise.
In regard to making money, I have a question for you, Steve: How much did you have to pay to visit GodSaidManSaid? For your information, GodSaidManSaid has no paid employees of any kind, and never has had. All revenue that comes into this ministry is spent in the promotion of the Word of God, for the purpose of winning souls into God’s kingdom. The scriptures record in Proverbs 11:30:
...he that winneth souls is wise.
Steve, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong on every account.
King James Bible